Atlanta: Jeff Gordon preview

Atlanta Track Has Everything Gordon Loves About NASCAR HAMPTON, Ga. (March 13, 2007) & ...

Atlanta Track Has Everything Gordon Loves About NASCAR

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 13, 2007) – After a weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where discussion centered around tires, track surface and fuel cells, Jeff Gordon expects those same subjects to accentuate the positives of NASCAR racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A new track configuration and surface – along with harder tires and a smaller fuel cell – dominated the headlines last weekend at LVMS. But Gordon led the most laps in the race (111) en route to a second-place finish behind teammate Jimmie Johnson. Johnson's victory marked the 150th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory for Hendrick Motorsports.

Gordon, who has 75 of those victories, will start his 30th race at Atlanta this weekend in the Kobalt Tools 500. In 29 previous starts, he has four wins, one pole, 12 top-fives and 18 top-10's. In his last 17 starts, he has finished outside the top 10 only four times. "I love Atlanta," Gordon said. "I love the worn out surface and everything about the track - it's one of my favorite tracks we go to.

"Racing here is how I'd like it to be every weekend. We'll be using the regular fuel cell in the regular car and we'll have long green flag runs. The tire wears out but doesn't seem to blowout, and there are multiple grooves we can run.

"Everything I love about this sport is what is going to happen in Atlanta."

Gordon, who is currently second in the standings and six points out of the lead, has finished in the top 10 in each of the first three races this year. Although he has four NASCAR Cup championships on his resume, the driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet has never posted four consecutive top-10's to begin a season.

Gordon gives much of the early season credit to second-year crew chief Steve Letarte.

"This DuPont team is preparing great cars and we're having a lot of fun – no matter where we start in the field," Gordon said. "Steve has really stepped up as a leader. "Having great cars, great communication and great runs make it fun for a driver."

And Gordon even joked about distractions following his second-place finish last weekend. "I think I would have won the race if I didn't have a baby on the way," Gordon said. "I just lost concentration thinking about the baby and what I'm going to name her."

-credit: hm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Hendrick Motorsports